Despite all of us having gotten our flu shots this year, the flu hit all three of us pretty hard this weekend, and we are only just now starting to recover. Well, Nick and I are starting to recover – the baby became energetic and noisy again just as we started to fall ill. It was the worst of times.
I had intended to share a recipe, but to be honest all we ate this weekend was take-out pho. Today we might leave the apartment and get some matzo ball soup, but at this point the tremendous effort required to put on something other than fleece footie pajamas is so daunting. I’m currently simmering a chicken and some veggies for broth, so that may be all that sustains us until I declare us ALL BETTER! and decide to move on.
Side note: If you’re ever not feeling very well, the best thing in the world is chicken soup made from a stock with a whole chicken as its base; simmer – don’t boil – the chicken with carrots and parsnips and celery and onion, plus whole cloves of garlic cut in half, a lemon halved, and a handful of dill pickles, and a couple of bay leaves, a sprig of thyme, and parsley bundled and tied in cheesecloth. Fill your stock pot with water to about ten quarts, and let it go for four hours. I learned that from Ina Garten, who is the person I’d most like to be when I grow up. I’m strongly considering painting WWID (What Would Ina Do?) in glitter across my hood fan lest I ever forget.
Anyway. I had meant to give you a recipe, but today is not the day. Today is the day for a giveaway though; I’ve been sitting on this one for awhile. If you’re in Vancouver or the surrounding area, I’d like to give you a professional photo shoot from Images by Bethany, a really, really talented local photographer who I met through VancouverMom.ca and who is also friends with my friend Jenna. She made me look like a normal person, which is no small feat – most of the time when I get my picture taken I do this weird thing I bare my fangs in an attempt to smile and tilt my head down, tripling the number of chins I have while also accentuating my grey under-eye bags.
I’m pretty lucky to have this sparkling personality to fall back on.
Right. Anyway, Bethany is amazing, and she has graciously offered to give one lucky local family a one-hour professional photo-shoot at Bethany’s studio in Gastown or at the location of your choice, followed by a viewing session and an 8×10 print of your favourite photo from the day. Your photos will be available for viewing online for three months; you can purchase additional photos if you love a whole bunch of them, but no purchase will be necessary. The thing I liked most about our session is that it was totally relaxed – it was very casual, and since everyone was comfortable the photos look natural. Better than natural, even – we look like better versions of ourselves … which is surprising because our shoot was at 8:00 am on a Saturday and we have a hard enough time looking normal at peak hours.
And don’t let the word “family” deter you here – I think family can be any combination of the people you like; whether that’s you and your little ones and that person you married or live with, or you and your parents, or you and your special someone, or you and your furry four-legged companion. If you roll solo, that’s okay too. Can you imagine blowing up an enormous photo of you and your cat looking regal and windswept – maybe on a cliff over the ocean – to hang in your dining room? I totally want to do that.
To enter, leave a comment below or on the photo on my Facebook page telling me who you’d like to be photographed with, or how you cope with having a camera pointed in your direction. The contest will run until January 14; when I get home from work that day, I’ll put all the names in Nick’s grimy old hat and pick a winner. I’ll pass your name and contact info along to Bethany, and she’ll contact you to set up your session, anytime between January and April. This contest is open to Metro Vancouver residents.